State expanding trade-development presence abroad New trade offices in Tel Aviv, Shanghai

December 03, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Maryland will open new international trade offices in Tel Aviv and Shanghai and hire consultants to represent the state in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago and Sao Paulo, Gov. Parris N. Glendening said yesterday.

The moves are part of the state's efforts to help small and medium-size Maryland firms develop business in rapidly emerging markets by providing them with one year of intensive assistance.

"If we can help these firms get their foot in the door overseas, the growth potential for both the companies and Maryland's economy is enormous," Glendening said in a statement released yesterday following the annual Governor's International Forum at the World Trade Center.

During the past 10 years, state officials say, Maryland has experienced the fastest export growth rate on the East Coast. Last year, state officials announced a strategic development plan to increase Maryland's exports to $9 billion a year, targeting the Asian rim, Europe and South America. The state also has trade offices in Brussels, Belgium; Taipei, Taiwan; and Kanagawa, Japan.

Eighteen months ago, Maryland reduced its trade-development presence in Asia by closing the Hong Kong trade office, which it had maintained since 1988, and reducing the size of its office in Japan. The moves, which were criticized at the time by some Maryland business leaders, were part of budget-cutting efforts by the Glendening administration.

Pub Date: 12/03/96

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